During the Sunday Mass of the Word of God held in Saint Peter’s Basilica and in front of 5,000 people this Sunday, January 21, Pope Francis invited Christians to find a place for reading the Bible in their daily life.
In his homily at the Sunday Mass of the Word of God, celebrated this January 21, Pope Francis asked Christians to read the Bible regularly , describing it as a source of inspiration for the mission and as a remedy against a form of egocentrism that can exist in the Church. “While society and social networks accentuate the violence of words, let us embrace the sweetness of the Word that saves,” he said in his sermon. The Sunday of the Word of God was decreed on September 30, 2019 by Pope Francis in his apostolic exhortation Aperuit illis . Its objective is to mobilize the Christian community and priests to help them find “practical solutions” to carry the Word of God.
A source of inspiration for the Saints
In his speech in Saint Peter’s Basilica and in front of 5,000 people, the head of the Catholic Church underlined how the Word of God , transmitted in the Bible, had this capacity to reverse habits, to change hearts and to open up “unsuspected horizons” for those who frequent it. He highlighted the sudden impact that Christ’s words may have had on his disciples in the Gospel of the day, pushing them suddenly to abandon the fishing nets to follow him. Secondly, he recalled how “decisive” the Word of God was for the saints, inspiring Saint Anthony to monasticism, converting Saint Augustine, or even revealing his vocation to Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and Saint Francis. of Assisi. “Lives changed by the Word of life,” he assured the assembly of faithful.
Have a Bible “at hand”
“We continually read words about the Church,” the pontiff then remarked, asking that these “help to rediscover the Word of life” instead of “speaking more about us than about Him.” He deplored the existence within the Church of a word in which “our thoughts and our problems remain at the center, instead of Christ”. “While society and social networks accentuate the violence of words, let us embrace the sweetness of the Word that saves.” He also regrets that “many believers” have never read an entire Gospel . Therefore, he invites Christians to find a place for Bible reading in their daily lives. He encouraged them to always have a Bible “at hand” at home, and to carry a Gospel with them “in their pocket, in their bag, in their cell phone.” Finally, he asked them to read at least one of the four Gospels in full.
“Proclaiming the Gospel is not wasted time”
A little later in the morning, His Holiness emphasized that “proclaiming the Gospel is not a waste of time” during the Angelus. From the window of the apostolic palace, he commented on the Gospel of the day, emphasizing how Jesus had decided to “patiently” involve his disciples, even though they were sinners, in his mission. “The Lord likes to involve us in his work of salvation, he wants us active with him, he wants us responsible and protagonists,” insisted the pontiff. Therefore, to refuse this commitment is to become “a ‘rosewater’ Christian”, he said, using an expression from his grandmother.
Inviting Christians to live “the beautiful adventure of giving love, light and joy”, he underlined how the proclamation of the Gospel had a positive effect on others, but also in each person who undertakes this mission . And asked the Virgin Mary to help everyone “taste the joy of the Gospel”.